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In Praise of the Stepmother

Mario Vargas Llosa

In Praise of the Stepmother by Mario Vargas Llosa meets perfectly the demands of the erotic novel, without for an instant dimming the fine poetic polish of the prose of this Nobel Prize-winning Peruvian novelist.

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In Praise of the Stepmother is the story of Don Rigoberto, his second wife, Lucrecia, and his son, Alfonso. Their family life together seems to be a happy one. Rigoberto, an insurance company manager, spends his time preening himself for his wife and collecting erotic art. But while Lucrecia is devoted to him, she has her own needs, and soon finds herself the object of young Alfonso’s attention.

With meticulous observation and seductive skill, Mario Vargas Llosa explores the mysterious nature of happiness. Little by little, the harmony of his characters is darkened by the shadow of perversion.

If you enjoyed In Praise of the Stepmother, you might also like Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto.

Critic Reviews

Erotic and elegant.

Critic Reviews

Llosa has made In Praise of the Stepmother a gallery of sexual fantasies. He shows, brilliantly, how the erotic lies in imagining something other than, and beyond, the object of desire.

Critic Reviews


New Yorker
Critic Reviews

Seldom have I encountered such a sensorily immediate piece of writing ... The tone is ultimately light and exquisite. The language is fastidious, graceful, and sprinkled with scent. It is an audacious caprice of a book.

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Vargas Llosa has written a genuinely erotic story and a wicked parody of one.

Los Angeles Times
MarioVargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Peru in 1936. He is the author of some of the last half-century’s most important novels, including The War of the End of the World, The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and Conversation in the Cathedral. In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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